This policy is effective June 15, 2022
If you have a Resident Account, click here for the Resident Terms of Service. These Public Official Terms of Service do not apply to Residents.
Welcome to CivicBell, owned and operated by CivicBell LLC (“CivicBell”, “we”, “us” and “our”). CivicBell is a civic engagement platform designed to improve the connection and communication between Americans and their government officials. These Public Official Terms of Service, together with any applicable policies and guidelines we may publish from time to time on our site (these “Terms”) describe the rights and responsibilities related to use of CivicBell’s website, mobile apps, products, and features (the “Services”) as a registered Public Official member of CivicBell.
These Terms apply specifically to the qualifying Public Officials that have been granted access to and use of our Services. These Terms are separate from the terms we offer to our regular members and are not intended to confer any rights or remedies upon any person or entity other than the registered Public Official and its authorized Users. For clarity, CivicBell’s Resident Terms of Service does not apply to registered Public Officials and its authorized Users.
These Terms constitute a binding, legal contract. By applying to become a Public Official member, completing Public Official Page information, setting up User access for yourself or another individual, or otherwise accessing or using the CivicBell Services, you represent that: (i) you are an employee or other authorized representative of such Public Official; (ii) you have the authority to perform the act you are completing on behalf of such Public Official (e.g. signup submission) and to so bind the Public Official and any other authorized Users, as applicable; and (iii) you accept these Terms on behalf of yourself and the Public Official and, where applicable, other authorized Users for whom you are acting. If any of these statements are incorrect or untrue, or if you do not accept these Terms, then you should not complete the Public Official Page information, set up User access for yourself or others, as applicable, or otherwise use the CivicBell Services.
BY REGISTERING, ACCESSING OR USING OUR SERVICES, YOU ARE ENTERING INTO A LEGALLY BINDING AGREEMENT WITH US. YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND ALL OF THESE TERMS. IF THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL IS LEGALLY UNABLE TO ACCEPT ANY TERMS OR CONDITIONS OF THESE TERMS, YOU MAY NOTIFY CIVICBELL AND SHOULD AWAIT RESPONSE BEFORE ANY USE OF THE SERVICES.
IMPORTANT: PLEASE REVIEW THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT SET FORTH BELOW CAREFULLY, AS IT WILL REQUIRE YOU TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITH CIVICBELL THROUGH FINAL AND BINDING ARBITRATION. IF PUBLIC OFFICIAL IS NOT LEGALLY ABLE TO ACCEPT THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT, THEN IT WILL NOT APPLY TO PUBLIC OFFICIAL SO LONG AS PUBLIC OFFICIAL FOLLOWS THE PROCEDURES TO NOTIFY US AS DESCRIBED IN SECTION 15.
As used in these Terms the following definitions apply:
CivicBell’s Services constitute a “commercial item” as that term is defined at 48 C.F.R. § 2.101, and the Services are therefore provided to you only pursuant to the terms and conditions herein. You must be the Public Official yourself or an authorized representative thereof with an approved Public Official Page. You may sign-up as a Public Official via the CivicBell mobile and/or web application or via a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An individual may not become a User or use our Services via a Public Official Page if: (1) the individual is a resident of the United States under 13 years old, a resident of a country other than the United States; (2) the individual is a registered sex offender or shares a household with one; (3) we previously disabled the individual’s Public Official User account for violations of these Terms; (4) the individual is prohibited from receiving our Services or accessing our websites or applications under applicable law or the policies or determination of the Public Official. Where a User is under age 18, a competent parent or legal guardian must also accept these Terms on the User’s behalf.
We will verify the information submitted by you within the Public Official application, such as your organization’s name, your individual role or title at such organization, and the geographic service area of your organization, via the means we deem appropriate.
ALL ACTIVITIES COMPLETED BY A PUBLIC OFFICIAL AND ITS USERS ON CIVICBELL OR THROUGH OUR SERVICES MAY BE DONE ONLY IN THE OFFICIAL CAPACITY OF THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL. Public Official and its Users’ use of CivicBell may not be associated with any personal affairs, alternate business or other non-official benefit or purpose.
Public Official may terminate these Terms with CivicBell at any time by deactivating its Public Official Page and discontinuing Users’ use of the Services. Unless otherwise provided in a separate agreement between the Public Official and CivicBell, We may suspend, terminate, delete or deactivate a Public Official Page, or stop providing Public Official or its Users with all or part of the Services at any time, without liability, for any or no reason, including for Public Official’s provision of inaccurate or incomplete registration information; where Public Official Page information or profile details are insufficient; in the event we think the Public Official no longer meets our membership criteria; in the event login credentials are, or are reasonably believed by us to be, at clear and substantial risk of being lost, stolen or misappropriated by any unauthorized party or used by an individual outside the individual’s official capacity for the Public Official; or where we deem that Public Official or its Users have violated these Terms or any applicable policies. In the event of Termination, the Terms set forth in Sections 8, 9, and 10-15 still apply.
The first User to access or use a Public Official Page on behalf of the Public Official will typically be assigned as an “Admin User”. Admin Users help establish the Public Official’s geographical service area on CivicBell and may invite additional individuals to become additional Users, and manage Users’ access to the Public Official Page.
If and when creating User access, the following parameters must be met (unless we otherwise expressly consent or advise): (i) each User must have a unique email address; (ii) each User email address must be associated with the Public Official through a shared root domain; (iii) a User should not utilize more than one login and password to access CivicBell on behalf of the Public Official; and (iv) unless instructed by the Public Official, logins and passwords should not be shared among Users. Additionally, we strongly recommend that all Users list their real name and title when setting up their profile and accessing the Services as part of their Public Official.
If available, each Public Official Page must include a link to the Public Official’s external official website or home page. All Public Official Page information will be publicly viewable within the CivicBell districts served by that Public Official and by any Member who is following the Public Official Page. The Public Official Page or a User’s affiliation with such Public Official, as applicable, may appear (but doesn’t have to) alongside all Public Official Content (defined below) posted by such Public Official and its Users.
A Public Official may set its own additional criteria for being an authorized User with Public Official Page access; CivicBell disclaims responsibility for enforcing any such criteria. We do not supervise Users or the use of Public Official Pages; that responsibility lies with the Public Official in the same manner such Public Official is responsible for supervising and managing its employees and representatives (e.g. in accordance with applicable codes of conduct, ethics, and other office or work standards). User access to a Public Official Page is tied to the User’s official role at the Public Official; if the User’s position terminates (for example, the User resigns, or a term of office comes to an end), such User’s access to the Public Official Page must be revoked.
PUBLIC OFFICIAL AND ITS USERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THE SECURITY OF THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL PAGE, INCLUDING BY PROTECTING USER LOGINS AND PASSWORDS VIA SOFTWARE OR OTHER PHYSICAL OR ELECTRONIC MEANS, AND BY NOT SHARING LOGINS OR PASSWORDS UNLESS INSTRUCTED BY THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL.
The Public Official retains all ownership rights to the Content submitted to CivicBell by Public Official or its Users (collectively, “Public Official Content”), subject to certain permissions granted to us as set out in Section 7 (Permissions Granted to CivicBell) below. Additional details on the viewability of Public Official Content by other Members are set out in Section 10 (Communicating with Other Members) below.
The Public Official and its Users are responsible for their acts and Public Official Content they contribute to Us. These Terms include all of our Community Guidelines (collectively, the “Guidelines”). Our Guidelines apply to all Public Official Content submitted on CivicBell.
We reserve the right to proactively moderate Public Official Content posted by Public Official or their Users, and we can remove Public Official Content posted via a Public Official Page, where such Public Official Content violates these Terms, Guidelines or our other policies, or otherwise constitutes behavior that we think harms CivicBell, a CivicBell geographic area or any of our Members. Public Official Content posted before a Public Official Page is deactivated may remain visible after the Public Official Page deactivation.
CivicBell presumes that the actions of the Public Official and its Users and Public Official Content are authorized by the Public Official and are legitimate. CivicBell has no obligation to verify the scope of authority of any Public Official or User, nor the accuracy or appropriateness of any Public Official Content submitted by a Public Official or its Users. We reserve the right to forward any requests or claims based on Public Official Content to the Public Official for resolution.
We appreciate feedback from Public Officials. Any feedback submitted to us by a Public Official or its Users may be freely used by us without any restriction or obligations of compensation or confidentiality.
Subject to Public Official’s (and its User’s) compliance with these Terms and all applicable Guidelines and policies, CivicBell hereby grants Public Official (and its Users) a limited, personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, revocable license to access and use the Services as provided herein and by the means we make available (such as our website, apps, and APIs (if available)). We reserve all rights not expressly granted to Public Official (or its Users) under these Terms. Except as permitted by us in writing, the following uses are prohibited:
In connection with the creation and use of a Public Official Page, on behalf of the Public Official and its Users, you give us the following permissions in the form of a non-exclusive, transferrable, sub-licensable, royalty free and worldwide license (the “Permissions”):
Public Official communications through CivicBell, including communications between any Public Official or User and Residents, may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and other federal, state or local “sunshine” laws. Public Official interactions with its customers or constituents on CivicBell may also be subject to the same obligations and protections as applicable in other contexts (e.g. freedom of speech rights, confidentiality terms or court order). It is the Public Official’s responsibility to comply with any FOIA requests and to abide by all applicable obligations and protections when interacting with its customers, constituents and other Residents on or through our Services.
CivicBell reserves the right to not delete any and all content produced by a Public Official, even in the event such Public Official deactivates their Public Official Page on CivicBell.
CivicBell may provide a Public Official with certain information that is proprietary and confidential to CivicBell, such as curated voter registration and census information data based on the district a Public Official represents, and similar metrics available through our Service (“CivicBell Information”). Public Official and its Users must keep the CivicBell Information confidential (and these Terms constitute the Public Official’s express agreement to do so), may not disclose it to any third party, and may use such CivicBell Information only as permitted by CivicBell for internal official purposes. If a Public Official determines that it must disclose CivicBell Information in connection with a subpoena or similar legal duty, the Public Official must notify CivicBell in writing before doing so and provide CivicBell with reasonable assistance if CivicBell seeks an order to maintain the confidentiality.
CivicBell Services are intended to augment, not replace, a Public Official’s official communication channels. Public Official and its Users should not rely on CivicBell as a primary channel for official communications.
While we do our best to provide our Services, our Services are provided to the Public Official and its Users on an “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” basis. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE CIVICBELL ENTITIES DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. The CivicBell Entities make no warranty or representation and disclaim all responsibility and liability for: (i) the completeness, accuracy, availability, timeliness, security or reliability of the Services; (ii) any harm to computer systems, loss of data, or other harm that results from access to or use of the Services; (iii) the deletion of, or the failure to store or to transmit, any Content and other communications maintained by the Services; (iv) viruses or other harmful components distributed by the Services; and (v) whether the Services will meet requirements or be available on an uninterrupted, secure, or error-free basis.
We may add, change, or discontinue all or any part of our Services at any time; if a Public Official or its Users is dissatisfied, the sole remedy is to stop using CivicBell or the affected feature.
Residents have the ability to opt-out of receiving messages from any Member on CivicBell, including Public Officials. Public Official acknowledges that posts may not reach all Residents in the intended area and that text message delivery and receipt is dependent upon carrier availability and other factors beyond our control.
To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law and the charter of the Public Official, the Public Official and its Users release the CivicBell Entities from all claims, demands and damages of every kind and nature, known and unknown, arising out of or in any way connected with any disputes arising between the Public Official (or its Users) on the one hand and any other Member on the other hand.
If Public Official is a California entity or its Users are California residents, and to the extent not expressly prohibited by law or charter of the Public Official, the Public Official and its Users hereby waive California Civil Code §1542, which says: “A general release does not extend to claims that the creditor or releasing party does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, and that, if known by him or her, would have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor or releasing party.”
Except to the extent prohibited by applicable law and the charter of the Public Official, Public Official agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold the CivicBell Entities harmless from any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including without limitation reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, made by any third party due to or arising out of (a) Public Official’s (or its Users) use of the Services, (b) Public Official’s (or its Users’) violation of these Terms, (c) Public Official’s (or its Users’) violation of applicable laws or regulations, or (d) Public Official Content. We reserve the right to control the defense of any matter for which Public Official is required to indemnify us, and Public Official agrees to cooperate with our defense of these claims and to not settle any claim without our prior written consent.
TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE CIVICBELL ENTITIES SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, OR ANY LOSS OF PROFITS OR REVENUES, WHETHER INCURRED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, OR ANY LOSS OF DATA, USE, GOODWILL, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES, RESULTING FROM (i) PUBLIC OFFICIAL’S (OR ITS USERS’) ACCESS TO OR USE OF OR INABILITY TO ACCESS OR USE THE SERVICES; (ii) ANY CONDUCT OR CONTENT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE SERVICES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF OTHER USERS OR THIRD PARTIES; (iii) ANY CONTENT OBTAINED FROM THE SERVICES; OR (iv) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS, USE OR ALTERATION OF PUBLIC OFFICIAL’S (OR ITS USERS’) TRANSMISSIONS OR CONTENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AGGREGATE LIABILITY OF CIVICBELL ENTITIES EXCEED THE GREATER OF ONE HUNDRED U.S. DOLLARS ($100) OR THE AMOUNT PAID TO CIVICBELL IN THE PAST TWELVE (12) MONTHS FOR THE SERVICES GIVING RISE TO THE CLAIM. THE LIMITATIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL APPLY TO ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, STATUTE, TORT OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER OR NOT THE PARTIES HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY SUCH DAMAGE, AND EVEN IF A REMEDY SET FORTH HEREIN IS FOUND TO HAVE FAILED ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE.
We encourage you to carefully read this Section 15 as it includes important terms, including arbitration requirements and an obligation for claims to be brought individually. To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Public Official and CivicBell hereby agree to the following arbitration and dispute resolution terms:
If you are a federal government or federal government agency in the United States, and you are using the Services in your official capacity, the Federal Government Addendum to Public Official Terms of Service applies to such use.